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Fri Dec 14, 2012, 09:36 AM

Panetta Orders US Missiles, Boots on the Ground Along Syrian Border


Panetta Orders US Missiles, Boots on the Ground Along Syrian Border
- Common Dreams staff
Published on Friday, December 14, 2012 by Common Dreams

Amid a deepening involvement by the US in the ongoing civil war in Syria, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced he has ordered the deployment of two Patriot missile batteries and 400 US soldiers to Turkey as part of a wider NATO effort to militarize the border between the two countries.

Panetta signed the order shortly before an unannounced visit to the country on Friday. Speaking from the US Air Base in Incirlik, he said: "We are deploying two Patriot batteries here to Turkey along with the troops that are necessary to man those batteries."

As The New York Times reports, Panetta told the gathered personnel at Incirlik that the US "was working with Turkey, Jordan and Israel to monitor Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons, and warned of 'serious consequences' if Syria used them, but he did not offer any specifics."

"We have drawn up plans for presenting to the president," Mr. Panetta said. "We have to be ready."

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